Monday, July 25, 2016

Putin, Clinton, and Trump

While it seems plausible that Putin directed hackers to hack the DNC emails (and, a couple months earlier, Clinton's own emails), it's ridiculous to think he did so out of "hatred" for Clinton, or as "payback" for her previous affronts.

It's dismaying how often our political pundits assume that international diplomacy operates via playground rules, even when accounting for situations with perfectly rational explanations.

Donald Trump has publicly expressed admiration for Putin and a willingness to work with him. Hillary Clinton publicly embarrassed him by questioning the 2011 Russian election results, and has taken a hard-line against Russia (befitting her neoconservative "Iron Lady" foreign affairs stance).

One candidate admires Putin and wants to work with Russia, the other antagonizes him and negotiates with tough rigidity. Emotion has nothing to do with it; Putin's Russia has a clear and rational reason to prefer Trump.

And there's no reason to assume that Trump's in cahoots. Russia's actions would have been no more effective with his cooperation. To suppose Trump is "in on it" is just more silly childish drama.

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